JBLM family group fights black mold in their homes

VIDEO: Families who live at JBLM say their houses are infested by dangerous black mold

Military spouse Melissa Godoy found black mold hiding behind trim in her JBLM home, despite maintenance workers assuring her that nothing was wrong, she says.

"This is what we were breathing in. This is what's in our house. My daughter and I had a spongy, moist cough."

"I had about 24 doctor's visits, there's only 12 months in a year, so I struggled a lot emotionally. It was draining being sick all the time.'

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And she was angry.

"Oh, I was furious, because we suffered for a long, long time I had to watch my kids get sick, like chronic illnesses, upper respiratory infections, mysterious fevers, sinus infections, constant breathing treatments, it was just, it was a devastating time for us."

Godoy, her two children and her combat engineer husband had to move to a hotel at the beginning of August. Her family and other families forced from their homes by the mold are getting $30 per person, per day, but Godoy says that doesn't make up for what they are going through.

"It's upsetting because it is directly affecting the military, the service members themselves, the ones that signed the (enlistment) contract for this country. They deserve better."

In a statement, Joint Base Lewis-McChord said, "In conjunction with a DOD-wide review of on-base privatized military housing in February, JBLM leaders and our partner, Lincoln Military Housing, assessed 5,159 homes on JBLM. We identified and addressed some problems, and in some cases, families were moved into temporary accommodations if repairs required more time. Placing families in temporary housing is a standard practice, and it's the right thing to do to support our military families. While we recognize this is above the service level you would typically encounter when renting a house in any other part of the state, Lincoln Military Housing (LMH) supports this program wholeheartedly. LMH pays for temporary lodging and meal expenses ($30 per person per day) when families are displaced. The $30/person/day is paid within several days of the family being moved into temporary accommodations. This stipend is on top of their military pay and military-provided Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) which continues regardless of housing location.

"JBLM is 100% committed to the health and welfare of all service members, civilian employees, and family members working and living on base, and we will continue to work with Lincoln Military Housing to ensure that our community receives the best quality housing available."

Godoy says there are about 1,000 families in her private Facebook group on the JBLM housing mold. She says volunteers can click on the page to offer help.

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